Full speed ahead. The IADC is approaching its centennial anniversary in 2020. The Association has travelled far and wide since the first Annual Meeting held in Atlantic City, New Jersey in the summer of 1920. Although the IADC has a long history, I would say with confidence that the IADC is more relevant today than ever before.
As the business of our corporate and insurance members and clients has grown internationally, so has our membership. We now have members located in fifty countries and territories located on six continents. In 2017, we held Regional Meetings in São Paulo, Singapore, Paris, London, Sydney, and Hong Kong, in addition to our regular Regional Meetings in North America. The volunteer spirit of the 2,500 plus IADC members is alive and well.
There are a few reasons why the IADC has been successful in growing its membership while keeping its eligibility requirements set at a high bar. The obvious reasons are the business relationships that exist in the IADC and the professional and personal relationships that develop over time. But, we should not overlook an essential factor in the IADC’s equation for success. At the core of most IADC activities is the advancement of the Rule of Law, a commitment to fairness, transparency, and efficiency in our legal systems that provide a just forum for all parties. Advancing the Rule of Law for our corporate and insurance members and clients unites all of us. It requires us to stay abreast of the latest developments in the law, advocacy, and technology. The Rule of Law also requires us to become active as an Association to advance the goals of our corporate, insurance, and outside counsel members.
We cannot flourish as leading defense trial lawyers and global advocates without maintaining a high level of continuing education and peer-to-peer interaction involving the advancement of the Rule of Law. A good example of the IADC’s focus on advancing the Rule of Law is its participation at a high level with Lawyers for Civil Justice (“LCJ”) for the past thirty years. LCJ promotes the corporate and defense perspective on proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The IADC and LCJ work together with other defense bar associations to achieve rule reforms by proposing and advocating necessary changes to the rule makers. Transparency in third-party funding of litigation and requester pay rule changes put forth by LCJ are needed changes to insure that our corporate and insurance members and clients have affordable civil justice that is fair and avoids unnecessary delays.
During our Association’s long and dynamic history, the Rule of Law has been at the center of most IADC programs. In addition to our activities with LCJ, the IADC consistently provides timely legal education programs dealing with Rule of Law issues involving fairness and balance in the courtroom or dispute resolution tribunal. These issues are at the center of our Regional Meetings, the Corporate Counsel College, the International Corporate Counsel College, the Midyear and Annual Meetings, as well as the Trial Academy. Our Amicus Curiae Committee gives voice to our members’ issues in the courtroom. And our preeminent, peer-reviewed Defense Counsel Journal is another fine example of the IADC’s commitment to keep us all well-informed as we engage in advancing the Rule of Law almost every day for our clients.
It is no wonder that the IADC is more relevant today than ever before.